Sunday, January 10, 2010

Archival Loafers

by Lesli Larson
"Weejun" style loafer

Alden Penny Loafer (Cape Cod Collection)

I've been wearing Weejun-style loafers since I was teen. I used to buy the Bass boy's model since I hated the low vamp on the version for women. Since Sebago left the US market, I've been searching for a new source for loafers that would resemble classic era Weejuns. My requirements: high vamp, quality leather, perfect fit and top quality construction. I was willing to pay more to stop the cycle of having to discard worn loafers after less than a year of wear (I really do wear these on a daily basis).

On Saturday, I visited Jordan at Winn Perry to sample a loafer that fit my shopping requirements. Jordan knew about my loafer search and suggested a beef roll penny loafer from the Cape Cod Collection--one that does not appear in the Alden print or online catalog. I should note that I continue to source my loafers from men's collections. As readers of this blog know, it's nearly impossible to find classic style footwear in sizes for women. I wear a women's 8.5 but can get away with a men's 6.5 or 6. Fortunately, Alden offers most of their shoes in sizes down to 6 (and smaller) in a range of widths. Jordan was kind enough to size my feet using a Brannock device. Now that I know my Alden size (for different lasts), I can sign up for one of his future, special edition Alden projects.

As it turns out, the Alden H410 loafers are perfect. After a little prep by my local shoe repairman (adding a protective half-sole), I'll be testing these out as my daily drivers. Thanks to Jordan for sourcing these loafers for me. I would never have found them on my own. How important, still, is the brick and mortar store and its knowledgeable proprietor!

Alden Model H410 penny loafers

Beef roll stitching on Sebagos, vintage Sears loafers and new Aldens

From the archives


Robin said...

Ralph Lauren sells some nice, made in USA beefroll penny loafers as well and they occasionally show up on ebay for cheap.

Lesli Larson said...


Do you know if they come in smaller sizes for women? With a high vamp?

diplomatica said...

Here, here for Jordan! I still have a hard time shopping online. I enjoy storefronts where the proprietor cares about the look and welcoming feel of the store. Winn Perry is such a great example of that.

Jing Qian said...

C&J has a few loafers for both men and women. quite nice imo. If you like any men's models, you could do a special order or find a slimmer alternative from the women's collection.

Anonymous said...

ooooo, go here (click on the "here") to see my shared appreciation for these shoes!
i have definitely grown into my appreciation for having big feet - men's shoes are my just reward! said...

You can imagine my surprise/shock/horror/whining when I went to replace my last pair of Weejuns (ladies size 8.5 W) about four years ago. I'm wearing some of Bass's current line of penny loafers now, but I'm not happy about it. And I still hope that Hush Puppies will bring back the Fritzi...

Jing Qian said...

some loafer photos from catalogs

Emily Sweeney said...

If you're an Alden Shoe might like this story & video that I produced for the Boston Globe: